40-6-130. Best interests of the child -- custody to father -- legitimation. (1) If the putative father appears at the hearing and requests custody of the child, the court shall inquire into his fitness and his ability to properly care for the child and shall determine whether the father's parental rights should be given recognition in view of his effort or lack of effort to make provision for the mother while she was pregnant and for the child upon birth and whether the best interests of the child will be served by granting custody to him or to the agency of the state of Montana, licensed adoption agency, or person to whom the mother has released or proposed to release custody of the child. If the court finds that it would not be in the best interests of the child to grant custody to the putative father, the court shall terminate his rights to the child.
(2) If the mother of the child has released the custody of the child to an agency of the state of Montana, a licensed adoption agency, or a person, the agency or person shall be a proper party to petition the court for custody of the child.
(3) If the parental rights of the mother are terminated pursuant to this part or other law and if the court awards custody of the child out of wedlock to the putative father, the court shall enter an order granting custody to the putative father and legitimating the child for all purposes.
History: En. 61-334 by Sec. 7, Ch. 422, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 61-334.